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Eye in the Sky

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  3,009 ratings  ·  153 reviews
“I have never seen [its] theme handled with greater technical dexterity or given more psychological meaning.”—Fantasy and Science Fiction

When a routine tour of a particle accelerator goes awry, Jack Hamilton and the rest of his tour group find themselves in a world ruled by Old Testament morality, where the smallest infraction can bring about a plague of locusts. Escape f
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Mariner Books (first published 1957)
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Whenever I meet someone whose world-view is really different from mine, I tend to think of this book. You know, they still believe that Saddam was behind 9/11 and hid his nukes in Syria, or Al Gore made up global warming for political reasons, or the Grand Canyon was formed a few thousand years ago during Noah's flood... that kind of thing. Read it and you'll see why. It's fun!

Next time you come across one of these people, they'll notice you're smiling rather than snarling, and probably they'll
Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of chances before
But I ain't gonna give anymore, don't ask me
That's how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you're thinkin'


Like most of PKD's novels, 'Eye in the Sky' has several things going on at once. It is a not-so-subtle Anti-McCarthyism tract (written in 1957, close to the end of peak Red Scare), showing the absurdity of prosecuting and persecuting people for what they think. After that it is a rather interesti
The Eye in the Sky by Philip K. Dick is a smart, satirical, absurdist and brilliant allegory on Conservatism and McCarthyism.

It could also be a theological spoof with a psychological twist. Or a psychological comedy with theological themes.

It is also vaguely reminiscent of Heinlein’s Job: A Comedy of Justice. Not to be taken too seriously, it is PKD approaching his best: imaginative science fiction with religious undertones. In this case the religion is a central element, but used in such a wa
Mike Philbin
Jack Hamilton, his wife and six other tourists visit a science institution and fall into the particle accelerator. They fall right in. Who is maintaining this institution, we may want to ask. Are the eight people killed in the fall? Are they burned to death in the electric fire?

These are questions that Philip K. Dick initially sidesteps completely.

The eight hapless individuals end up in another world. Dick loves this device; it’s something he used in his novel A Crack In Space (aka: Cantata-140
mark monday
"I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind"
Questo panorama, questo ambiente... sono le circonvoluzioni del suo cervello, le colline e le vallate della mente di Silvester.

Una delle tematiche predilette di Dick è certamente la definizione della realtà, la contrapposizione tra la realtà individuale e quella collettiva: il pensiero corre subito all'arcinoto Ubik, che con i suoi violenti strappi al tessuto della realtà si è imposto come uno dei campioni della fantascienza contemporanea. Eppure, a cercare bene, si riesce a trovare di meglio: l
Jonathan Briggs
Like many pulp writers, Philip K. Dick wrote very fast and sometimes under the influence of substances that helped him write very fast. I'd guess that "Eye in the Sky" was slammed out in a couple of frenzied hours while Dick was out of his freakin mind on a dexedrine binge. One day, missile tech Jack Hamilton gets called before his employers, who are concerned that Jack's wife, Marsha, could be a commie sympathizer. They present Jack with an ultimatum: Lose the wife or lose the job. Full of indi ...more
Nate D
Our beliefs color how we see the world. We know this, but how far does this go in shaping our reality? Can we know for sure? Typical PKD theme, handled here in a very early incarnation of 1957: Eight people are caught in a scientific accident and discover their circumstances mysteriously altered by it. Sounds like Ubik, perhaps, and like that novel we're dealing with perception and reality in a kind of absurdist horror mode. But this quickly diverges into breakneck shifts in tone and context as ...more
An accident in a research facility leads to eight people being exposed to a powerful radioactive beam. When they awake they find themselves in a world determined by the cracked psyche of one of their group. But on their escape they find that – terrifyingly – they are now exposed to the fears and whims of another member of their party. What lurks for them next and will they ever return to the real world?

This is science fiction very much of its time, with the concerns of 50’s America writ large. T
Sean O'Leary
Easily one of PKD's best funny books Eye in the Sky creates a perfect satire of how people view reality since it takes place inside people's minds. The book shows how people can have such different perspectives of the same reality. I'd have to say the first two parts of the book are the funniest but later it starts to die down and become more serious.

It also has everything you'd expect from a PKD book; Alternate Realities, Love Complications(Much less than his other books though), Paranoia, Rel
Stuff I Read - Eye in the Sky by Phillip K. Dick Review

I have to admit, when I picked up this book I kind of assumed that it would be about some sort of satellite watching people or threatening people, some sort of Big Brother-type thing. I was not incredibly prepared for what really happened, for this book to be about privilege and trust and how each person makes the world. Basically, eight people are part of an accident at a particle collider, and get sucked into a series of dreamworlds that a
Charles Dee Mitchell
Dick wrote this novel in 1957 and set it in 1959. That's not much of a leap as things go in sf novels, but it allows Dick to keep the society he describes, that of Northern California with its combinations of defense contractors and university types, contemporary. When I read the novel, I thought the slight time alteration also allowed him to create the fanciful Bevatron, some sort of particle accelerator whose malfunction propels the plot. But it turns out UC Berkeley did have a genuine Bevatro ...more
Kat  Hooper
3.5 stars Originally posted at

Jack Hamilton has just lost his job as an engineer for a government defense contractor because his wife Marsha is a suspected communist sympathizer. Having nothing better to do for the afternoon, he accompanies Marsha to the viewing of a new linear accelerator. An accident at the accelerator beams the Hamiltons and six other unsuspecting citizens into a parallel universe that at first appears to be their world but soon starts to evince subt
Lisa Feld
Eight tourists, injured in an accident with a particle accelerator, find themselves in a shifting reality governed by whoever is closest to waking up. The problem is, one of them is a religious fanatic. One of them is a suspected Communist. And one of them is just plain crazy...

Of PKD's books, I like this one the best, despite its flaws. The view of women isn't as misogynistic as in some of his other work, and the shifting realities allow the tone to move from funny to scary to thoughtful. And t
I don't openly recommend this to anyone, but I certainly do to fans of Philip K. Dick. Although it's not as good as Vulcan's Hammer, it's better than many PKDs I've read and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's got the classic elements of PKD's writing that I like: the people are plausible and multi-dimensional human beings, the world is science fiction (people can figure out cause and effect with strange events and experiment on weird phenomena), and it goes in a direction I'd never have predicted, e ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Hope III
Originally, I was only going to give Eye in the Sky 3 stars, but added a fourth when I remembered that Philip K. Dick (PKD) published it in 1957. I am a fan of PKD, so perhaps I am biased.

PKD forces his readers to ponder some very interesting concepts. Are we living in a reality clouded by our perceptions and opinions? What happens when the opinions and perceptions of one person become the reality for everyone else?

There are obvious moments that reflect the age: the Red Scare, racism, and sexis
Ryan Langrill
I can't believe that this type of story isn't more common. I have read many Philip K. Dick books, and in fact just got done re-reading VALIS. Eye in the Sky is very much a PKD book, containing explorations of the nature of reality and also foreshadowing his later obsession with religion, but unlike his later books Eye in the Sky is light-hearted and fairly blunt about the exploration of alternate perspectives (with Man in the High Castle, for instance, reality is much harder to discern).

A brief
Marriage, race, science, religion, independence, psychology...where to begin? One hell of a character study but PKD's novels are always that so points of view it must be that make this work. One feels intimate with all of the characters by the end. A real life blitzkrieg from one person's fears and fantasies to the next and so dam real. The bizarre is what made this a lovable quick read for me (4 sittings) versus say a more realistically approached concept like A Scanner Darkly, which I've strug ...more
Eli Parker
This book was pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed reading it. The concept was fun, and the pacing was nice and brisk.

There were some stylistic things that bugged me. The characters would often assume something about their surroundings, and until a twist near the end, their assumptions were always right. The book portrays hostile worlds that exist inside the characters' minds, and occasionally it's implied that these characters honestly believe that's what the real world looks like, but they'd hav
I find it fascinating that this summer I have read two books written during the same Cold War period1957-1959 that made me overwhelmingly conscious of how new and fragile women's rights actually are. Thank God for Gloria Steinem, and all the brave feminists who helped advance women's fight for equality (we still have a quite a way to go).

Ok this is supposed to be a review of Phillip K. Dick's Eye in the Sky. Like the other Cold War Science Fiction novel I read this summer, Alas Babylon, I was i
By the time I read this I thought I'd figured out PKD's tricks: that at the end they were going to end the nightmarish transitions between each person's inner worlds, only to come back to reality and it not be reality.

Imagine my surprise when it had a happy ending. Definitely an early novel for PKD.

In retrospect, it would've been interesting to start reading his works from the earliest to the latest, to watch him change as a writer over time.
Stephen Curran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eye in the Sky is another early Philip K. Dick novel that is uneven, but uneven in a different way to his later writeitinaweekonspeed works. While it may be silly to just compare Dick's efforts to each other in lieu of considering their merits individually, I'm pretty much a neophyte when it comes to SF. I like it, a lot, but mostly I read Dick (see my last essay) because I really like Dick, so I can't really say how Dick's early work fits in to the canon of 50's/60's SF. I can however, talk abo ...more
Εικοστό πρώτο βιβλίο του Φίλιπ Ντικ που διαβάζω, ήταν και αυτό με την σειρά του αρκετά παρανοϊκό και περίεργο, είχε και αυτό όλα τα συστατικά στοιχεία των υπόλοιπων έργων του, μόνο που ήταν αρκετά πιο εύκολο να παρακολουθήσει κανείς την εξέλιξη της ιστορίας, σε σχέση τουλάχιστον με άλλα βιβλία του.

Όσον αφορά την πλοκή, δεν θα πω πολλά πράγματα, γιατί έχουν πλάκα οι αποκαλύψεις που γίνονται και δεν θέλω να κάνω χαλάστρα σε κανέναν: Λοιπόν, στις 2 Οκτωβρίου του 1959, ο Εκτροπέας Ακτίνων Πρωτονίων
Sean Sullivan
I enjoyed this book, the tone, the ideas, the dialogue. After some research I realized Dick and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. began getting published at pretty much the same time, which makes sense to me. Their styles remind me of each other, quirky, outside the norm, but not too far out. Eye in the Sky follows normal people in extremely surrealistic situations, which as a reader (and writer) fall squarely into my comfort zone. I gave it four instead of five stars, because although I loved the ideas and the ...more
As you may have guessed from the synopsis, Eye in the Sky employs the ridiculous with an indiscriminate hand. Such brand of humor isn’t for everyone, nor is the novel. Not to come across as snotty, it is one of those reads that comes out better if the reader has a good grasp on their history lessons. That said, it does have that timeless quality as the U.S. hasn’t progressed that far from extreme political paranoia and race- and class-ism. And apparently, helicopter parenting is not a new phenom ...more
Despite the fact that Blade Runner is one of my all time favorite movies, I've never read anything by Philip K. Dick before. His books inspired so many movies, I figured it was time to give one a shot. Eye in the Sky was like a particularly trippy Twilight Zone episode, as a group of visitors to a radioactive device called the Bevatron meet with an accident and suffer a bizarre series of side effects. I would have given it four stars but the material felt more than a little dated. I still want t ...more
Coni Warren
I didn't much pay attention to when he wrote this compared to anything else. I don't actually know much about PKD so I went in blind not even reading a summary of what it was about before I started reading it. I did like that the protagonist didn't want to go with the flow of the new worlds and purposely tried to mess with people or get to the bottom of what was going on. That was entertaining.

I found the relationships with women quite odd. He has this relationship with his wife that doesn't see
Bruno Silva
Para quem lê Philip K. Dick cronologicamente pode constatar este como o primeiro livro a abordar a presença de universos construídos pela psique vs o universo real. Ainda não inicia nesta obra essa vertente pela via das experiências alucinogénicas, mas sim num pós acidente numa central tipo nuclear em que 8 pessoas caem num fosso e são apanhadas num tipo de feixe de energia.
O mais interessante é a obra ter sido escrita no final da década de 50 em pleno período McCarthy de caça aos comunistas e e
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. He briefly attended the University of California, but dropped out before completing any classes. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memo ...more
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